A Green Wholeheartedly on Two Hemispheres.

The current photo challenge invites one to show that It IS Easy Being Green!

Absolutely.  All I had to do for these three illustrations of the point was to travel to the UK in winter, where things remain green regardless, and to visit the Natal Midlands in summer, where the green is intensified.  And just go up the hill a little way from Durban. Guess which is which?

Of course, I could have taken pictures of my green fingers from recent bits of gardening, but someone might have asked for the results and we haven’t got there yet.

© March 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Nature, Photography, UK, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Durban has a Smoking Problem …

A warehouse in the valley over the two parallel hills most of Durban’s Bluff comprises got all fired up with enthusiasm.  The pall of smoke was most impressive even from home, so after picking youngest granddaughter up from school we nipped to the top of hill number two to find a vantage point.  This is what we saw:

The smoke was visible from home; here is a sight of it some seven kilometers away over the roof of our parked car:

I was looking to see my way clear straight after that with a view to meeting an appointment with our opthalmologist the other end of town and on the far side of the fire.  In spite of deep forebodings from Much Better Half we set off, and passed only a few hundred metres from some of the fires. Unfortunately the leaping flames would vanish every time I clicked the camera:

The sign to the left here was left by a would-be thatcher.  Rather an unfortunate backdrop for his advertisement!

Various roads were closed, but by sticking to a Berea route, we managed to avoid getting under the influence of the nasty-smelling smoke.  From slight acrid whiffs we had, I’d have been apalled to have been in a pall of it.

At the opthal-wotsit, we met good friends we haven’t seen for some time.  Then I had the good and the bad news.  Glaucoma is being controlled so that I have figures comfortably under the average. I have 20/20 vision, even without spectacles.  The bad was that there are traces of cataract cells trying to make a comeback after the lens replacements I had a number of years ago, causing a ‘dirty window’ effect in my right eye, so I’ll have to get that sorted by laser on 4th April.

© March 2017 Colonialist.
Posted in Africa, Current Affairs, journal., Photography, Wordplay | 15 Comments

American andiron …

Do you see in fireplace
Of an andiron any trace?

Masquerading as a log,
There you find a firedog!

(Like a log she likes to sleep —
Heaven help a chimney-sweep!)

© March 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Dogs, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Things are all Sweetness and Flight

Following up on my guavadilla post, here is how to set about exploiting the fruit. A pointy teaspoon is ideal for scooping away from the sides to extract pulp and pips without disturbing the spiky pith (which is still OK to eat, but I prefer not to include it).  Then all one has to do is mix in the condensed milk to one’s taste, and you have as delicious a dish as you could wish.

It has also worked well with heating a cup of it mixed with a cup of sugar, and straining off. This gives a syrup which, with water added, gives a surprising number of glasses of a delightfully refreshing drink.

We have, perhaps, some further competition for the fruit apart from the monkeys, who have had some good feeds.  I discovered this specimen of a Dot-underwing or Fruit-piercing moth (Eudocima materna) near the vine, and it is possible that guavadillas have become some of the fruit they are dotting underwing and piercing. Wiki shows these moths pictured on marula fruit, so it is entirely likely.

(I stopped this to add one of my photos to the Wiki article, to reflect the presence of the Dot-underwing moth in this part of the world.  I also had to amplify the preamble, which made no mention of Africa.)

© March 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Flora, Nature, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Democratic Party Policy is to Deny Truth

The recent debacle with Helen Zille remarking that some good things did come out of colonialism, thus causing a storm of infantile denial of what should be seen as a self-evident fact, is a sad reflection of how political expediency creates dishonesty.

One can see why praise of any of the regimes which built the early infrastructure of South Africa would be a sensitive area with a party which does not want to give an image of favouring white elitism. Nevertheless, it is disappointing that they have to descend to policies which stick heads in sand. No sensible person is saying that the domination aspects of colonialism were in any way praiseworthy. It is incontrovertible fact, though, that the initial impetus which brought Africa out of non-technological tribalism into the ability to live in a developed world on terms of equality came from colonists and colonialists. Furthermore, the vast majority of such were people of praiseworthy energy, enterprise and courage. They carved these beginnings while overcoming immense difficulties and hardships, as any proper study of their history will reveal.

There is no doubt that serious mistakes arose out of their convictions of racial superiority, and that even with the excuse of the period many of their actions were inexcusably brutal. This is a valid, but separate, issue. It does not detract from the legitimacy of the debt owed to them in terms of the development of the country.

The question has to be asked: had there been no colonists, where would this knowledge and infrastructure have come from? Would somebody have waved a magic wand?

Also, those now pontificating about the evils of colonialism should imagine finding themselves in a reversal of roles, becoming the colonists with their mindsets of the time.  In what manner would they have handled things differently or any better?

© March 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Colonialist | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Green Female and Blackmail

Wordle 291

Not easy to make any sense out of using all the words in the given order, while also creating a rhyme, this week!


In green ball gown she rings the bell;

After admittance, a penguin-suited

Waiter will lead her in, as well

As furnish drink-tray with glasses fluted;

To festive board she goes, but eats,

In talk, no more than what a mouse would bag;

Men the orange to suck for sweets —

She has their secrets taped on disk, the hag!

© March 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Flash Fiction, Rhyme, Wordle | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Atop or at the Foot – RIP Peta

Atop, as the latest photo challenge, has made the picture I found of Peta the budgie, who departed life this evening, rather apt.  Peter was donated to us by young R’s preschool in 2011 after he had been retired from active service there as being too old.  He had been a regular weekend visitor to us, anyway.  After he came to live with us he laid an egg, so we had to rethink the name. Peta she became.


She has been a much-loved part of the family ever since. She would come across immediately if a hand or a face was nearby, and cling to the side of her cage to give kisses through the bars. She was quite happy to be taken out, hopping cheerfully onto a finger, and never bit the hand that lifted her back — although she would swear a little at that.

Over the past couple of days I realised that the years had finally caught up with her and I could see she was on her way out of more than just her cage. This evening. I was able to get a final cuddle and nibble from her, as did Younger Daughter, but not long after life left her.

Thank you, little bird. You gave joy in abundance to counter the sorrow we now feel, and you are sure to make Heaven a brighter place.

© March 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Birds, Grandchildren, pets, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , | 13 Comments